Mathilda May

  1. Sophie Marceau, La Boum, France, 1980.     The future star was among the kids seen by realisatuer Claude Pinoteau and his casting director Françoise Ménidrey for the role that made a star of the ex-Sophie Danièle Sylvie Maupu… who chose her new name from one of the Paris avenues or boulevards.
  2. Sophie Duez, Marche a l’ombre, France, l984.     Vedette-turned-réalisateu Michel Blanc met Mathilda on her debut, Little Nemo, 1984,  and signed her but US director Tobe Hooper interferred. Her signed her to nude her way through Lifeforce, 1985.
  3. Emmanuelle Béart, L’Amour en douce, France, 1984.  For their third film together, réalisateur Édouard  Molinaro  and young star Daniel Auteuil required  a special leading lady.  Molinaro’s wife, Catherine, was sent on the hunt and short tests with about 20 actresses  “prometteuses” – such as Mathilda May, Anne Parillaud… and sjnger Guy Béart’s beautiful daughter – “so fresh and with an interesting spontaneity.” Auteuil felt much the same. The couple wed in 1993 and made Manon des Sources and a daughter together and divorced in 1995.
  4. Valentina Vagras, Der Name der Rose/The Name of the Rose, France-Italy-West Germany, 1986.       Once upon a time the casting tres français with Michel Galabru, Yes Montand Philippe Noiret and Jean Rochefort also up for roles. When May was delayed on Lifeforce ((equally nude), réalisateur Jean-Jacques Annaud let the Chilean beauty improvise her mute seduction of Christian Slater’s novice monk and didn’t warn him so his responses would be more genuine.
  5. Maryam d’Abo, The Living Daylights, 1986.
  6. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sherazade, France-Italy, 1989.     Neither one seemed really interested.
  7. Madeleine Stowe, Revenge, 1990.      “Only rarely have I happened to play  a normal girl,” said Mathilda, the actress described by veteran New Wave realisateur Claude Chabrol as ” a beautiful girl who performs like an ugly one.”
  8. Lara Harris,  The Fourth War,  l990.       Now Naked Tango rehearsals interferred… John Frankenheimer  had  changed  the US Army  girl into a Czech, so his choices were limited. Having worked with Yves Montand, Dominique Sanda, Marthe Keller, the  director  told  himself:  “Hey,  don’t  cast  some beautiful foreign girl who’s unable to say the lines…  Most foreign actors haven’t a clue how to act  in English.”  He got his agent to find an UK/US girl who’d spent much time in Europe, could speak other languages and, perhaps, come up with the correct accent. With three weeks to go, enter:  Harris, American, fluent  in  Russian, French, “exploding off the screen.” Like the movie, she was never heard of again.
  9. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, 1990.    Elizabeth Hurley, Patsy Kensit,  Nicole Kidman, Amanda Pays, Joely Richardson, Ally Sheedy  were in the Sherwood mix for Maid Marian  – won by an an Italo-American!  Well, two French stars, May and Sophie Marceau, had also been seen.


 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  9